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The little black dress may be a classic. But unless you're Audrey Hepburn, it's probably not the most eye-catching thing you own. So, if it's compliments you're after, you'll have to go fishing. Some dresses, however, can't help but turn heads and even stop total strangers on the street. Recently, I found such a dress. The best part? It cost less than the bra I wore with it.
The last dress I bought on Amazon was this nondescript bestselling T-shirt dress in gray. With its comfy jersey fabric, long sleeves and pockets, it screamed practical. But after taking a Caribbean cruise this summer, I realized I wanted something with a bit more pizzazz.
After a quick search on Amazon, I found the Women's Bohemian Neck Tie Printed Summer Shift Dress. The 29 different prints it came in were gorgeous. The $21 price tag was perfect for my tight budget. Plus, it had more than 3,300 reviews. That's how you know something isn't too good to be true.
How it looks
I clicked through all 29 different swatches and struggled to find one I didn't like. Ultimately, I went with Color 18. However, even if they'd sent the wrong color, I probably wouldn't have sent it back. I like them all. While the dress looks like it could come from a designer (ahem, Tory Burch?), it actually comes from Urban CoCo. It's the same brand behind Amazon’s No. 1 bestselling skirt and this cute off-the-shoulder $9 top with more than 4,000 reviews.
My dress was 100% true to color. In person, it looked exactly like it did online. I was worried I wouldn't like the three-quarter sleeves. But I didn’t mind these since they’re “lotus style" and just look like long sleeves I casually rolled up. Surprisingly, the fabric itself didn't look as cheap as I expected. I was able to wear it straight out of the package without even steaming it.
How it feels
It's certainly soft, however, it's not very breathable. That’s just the nature of polyester. The dress is 91.2% polyester and 8.8% spandex. Of course, it didn’t help that I first wore this out in Paris during the recent record-breaking heat wave. There was no AC on the train, so I was definitely sweating. Fortunately, because of the vibrant colors and cool pattern no one could see any pit stains. I do have sensitive skin (my neck is still covered in a rash after a recent Keratin treatment), so I was slightly worried about reacting negatively to a cheaper fabric. But that didn't happen.
Why the rating isn't higher
Normally, I only stick with products that have a 3.5-star rating or higher. This dress has a 3.4-star rating. Still, I couldn't write it off without looking into why the rating wasn't higher. Based on what I read, I think it's because of the sizing. Only 45% of reviewers say it's true to size. That said, the listing does say that this dress is “Asia size” not U.S. size. The description noted that the size will probably be smaller than you’re used to. I ordered a size small, because I’m often an x-small in loose-fitting things. When it came, it was a bit broad in the shoulders, but other than that, it fit perfectly.
Where I'm wearing it
Yes, this dress is short. You'll want to wear shorts under it. However, because it's short, it an also be worn as a tunic with jeans or leggings. I first wore it to the Trek Travel Tour de France VIP party gala at Paris’ esteemed Automobile Club de France (which has a strict dress code). But I can also easily get away with wearing it as a beach coverup without feeling overdressed. In fact, despite how eye-catching it is, it’s considered casual! It’s even in Amazon’s list of top 20 bestselling casual dresses.
Casual or not, this dress got me plenty of attention. No one was whistling or making me uncomfortable. But I did get stopped in the street by two strangers (one of whom turned out to be the Olympic silver medalist Leon Van Bon and the other, a Dutch photographer who took photos of the dress). I also got some unexpected compliments on social media from followers who have never commented on what I'm wearing before.
I don't like attention enough to live in this dress. But the next time I'm feeling low and need a little ego boost, I know exactly what to wear.
For more clothing favorites, check out:
- The top 7 denim trends of 2019
- We tried on this popular $25 jumpsuit in 5 different sizes
- We tried the $22 T-shirt dress with over 2,000 perfect reviews